Operation Lifesaver - Preventing Injury and Death at Railroad Crossings


Norfolk Southern Railroad hosted an Operation Lifesaver train on April 28th. The route was from Sterling Yard (17 Mile Rd) to Monroe, MI.

The line traveled over old Michigan Central tracks and traverse most of the industrial corridors of Southeast Michigan. The two passenger coaches were outfitted with televisions with CCTV connection to a camera on head end power (HEP) a NS GP-38-2 locomotive painted in the Operation Lifesaver livery.

Sterling Hts. PD at 16 Mile Service Drive

The purpose of the train was enforcement at grade crossings and to show the passengers the view that the engine crew have. They deal with drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists on a daily basis who take an unnecessary risk of trying to beat a train. With that in mind, law enforcement from multiple jurisdictions were aboard the train (in the cab of the locomotive) to watch for cars going around gates then to relay them to police cars waiting to stop and ticket them.
North Yard Office
The "horse" that pulled us
While all this played out we watched out the windows, at the TV screens, and conversed with the diverse people on the train from many agencies and businesses. From the Dept. of Homeland Security, Dept. of Defense (myself), Michigan State Police, Mayor of Sterling Hts and many other railroad employees and safety officials we all had an enjoyable experience on board the Operation Lifesaver train.

Stopping at River Rouge Yard

The day ended at around 3 p.m. at Sterling Yard where we departed to our homes, business, etc. I will take the time to thank Norfolk Southern RR, Operation Lifesaver, and everyone else who put this together on that day.
The NS GP-38-2 that has the camera right between the two ditch lights.

As I told one of my fellow riders on the train, I rather educate a person on respecting the railroad grade crossing lights and making the simple choice of Stop, Look and Live than to cut them from a twisted piece of steel and work hard to save their life. It is much easier to tell someone how they can save their own life by obeying the signals, signs, and other warning devices than to cut them from their own bad choice.

Dan Meinhard
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